Even though VR has yet to become commonplace in everyone’s home, industrial VR training is slowly but surely taking over a multitude of industries. Most recently, Walmart has introduced VR for training their employees in a wide range of skills, including soft skills like customer service, empathy, and compliance.
With so much hype around Walmart VR training, it is clear that this immersive technology has a lot to offer when it comes to employee training processes. Here are some industry examples where VR training can be used:
- Healthcare and medical
- Military and law enforcement, and more
In this post, we will explore the advantages of virtual reality training, in what situations it can be applied, and how it will transform your business into a workplace of the future.
VR Training Benefits
From where we’re standing, there aren’t any downsides to VR training programs becoming a standard part of your business. We can, however, spot numerous benefits of virtual reality training, with the main ones being:
- Safe Training Environment
If your employees are expected to acquire new skills or learn how to operate dangerous machinery, the training environment is not the safest. The process would require personal protective equipment, constant vigilance, and there would be a considerable risk to the worker’s health and safety, especially while they are still learning.
Being a real-life simulation, virtual reality poses no threat to anyone’s safety. Everything happens within the simulation, with the workers comfortably standing or sitting with a VR headset over their eyes.
A good example of safe VR training is our VR Factory solution, specially developed for workers in a cement factory who had to operate from great heights. Thanks to our virtual reality training software, the workers were able to learn about personal protective equipment and the importance of safety harnesses in a realistic 360-degree environment. They didn’t approach these great heights until they passed their safety course and were ready to take on the job.
- Better Knowledge Retention
A study from 2018 determined that virtual reality aids recall, meaning that those who learn something in VR are better at recalling what they’ve learned than had they studied using traditional methods. Additionally, VR improves knowledge retention. The training your employees undergo in VR will stay with them longer than other forms of training.
The reason for these improved statistics when it comes to learning in VR lies in its immersive qualities. Many people learn better through action than through reading a textbook or watching a presentation. Their brains memorize not only the facts and protocols but also the motions, the audio instructions, and entire settings. A VR training simulator is not just a plain showcase of data – it is an entire experience that your workers will remember for a long time to come.
- Reduced Training Costs
Traditional training courses can put a dent in your budget. You need to find a suitable space, educators, and equipment, among other things. The training might even require production downtime, depending on how disruptive it is to everyday workflow in your company. A lot of planning and organization goes into it, requiring whole teams to take time off from their regular work activities.
Fortunately, none of this is an issue with VR training. You will only need a VR head-mounted display (VR headset) and a little bit of space for the worker to use. In case the VR headset needs to connect to a computer, you will also need one of those. Instead of looking for trainers or lecturers, you just need to find the right VR training software and you’ll be good to go!
- Emergency Simulations
In regular training, employees can only watch emergencies on video or read about them in text. They need to memorize guidelines and instructions, but for obvious reasons, they cannot learn what to do in an emergency by performing the actions. Or at least, they couldn’t until virtual reality for training arrived.
Thanks to the versatility of VR environments, your employees can find themselves in all sorts of emergency situations. From machine malfunctioning to chemical spills to fire emergencies to natural disasters – no scenario cannot be simulated in VR and made to look incredibly realistic. With this type of hands-on training, your workers will have no doubts over how to act if a crisis hits.
VR Skill Training
Skills are most commonly divided into hard and soft skills. Virtual reality can help improve both.
Hard skills are also called technical skills. They are specific to each job, can be taught, and easily quantified. For example, if you’re working in a restaurant kitchen, your hard skills would include dicing ingredients and successfully combining flavors. If you’re an IT developer, a hard skill could be how much you’re familiar with Java programming.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are not related to any specific job and are more difficult to measure. These are usually interpersonal skills, such as leadership abilities, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution skills, and similar.
Virtual reality simulations can be specifically tailored to what your business needs. If you require an employee to learn how to handle a machine, they can be placed right in front of a VR-version of it. Just look at the use of VR for medical training: new doctors and surgeons around the world are sharpening their hard skills without having to wait for the right patients to walk through the door.
The same applies to any soft skill training as well – every training program can be replicated in VR.
Find the Right Solutions
While there are plenty of VR training programs out there, the ideal one would be designed specifically for the needs of your company. The perfect VR solution can be customized to fit the size and type of your business, the type of training your wish to present to your employees, and whether or not you want any additional features. These additional features can include analytics and reporting, scoreboards to motivate your workers to perform well, and many others.
We at ARVRtech develop just such virtual reality training solutions. Our primary concern is to understand the challenges of your business and develop software that will benefit you and your employees the most. If you wish to step into the immersive world of employee VR training, we would be more than happy to offer advice and guide you along the way. Feel free to contact us at ARVRtech to get a free quote.
Let’s see what we can make together!